Fingerprinting 101

    IntroductionFingerprint Identification is the method of identification using the impressions made by the minute ridge formations or patterns found on the fingertips. No two persons have exactly the same arrangement of ridge patterns, and the patterns of any one individual remain unchanged throughout life. Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification. Other personal characteristics may change, but fingerprints do not. If you are applying for a Fingerprint Clearance Card through the State of Arizona , Department of Public Safety then your fingerprints will be used to obtain both a state and federal criminal records check. Your fingerprint clearance card will be valid for 6 years; however, lapse in employment may require you to reapply for another fingerprint clearance card.

Typically there are two ways your prints will be taken: Type 4 (rolled) and Type 14 (flat)

Type 4– Rolled impressions are the ten individually-taken fingerprint images rolled from nail to nail. The plain impressions are used to verify the sequence and accuracy of the rolled impressions.

fingerprint type 4 rolled

Type 14 –Identification flat impressions are taken simultaneously without rolling. These are referred to as plain, slap, or flat impressions. The individual’s right and left four fingers should be captured first, followed by the two thumbs (4-4-2 method). Instituting this finger capture method ensures the highest level of fingerprint sequence accuracy.

fingerprint type 14 flat

Fingerprints can be recorded on a standard fingerprint card or can be recorded digitally and transmitted electronically to the FBI for comparison. Live scan technology allows us to collect your fingerprints in a fast and efficient manner. When your prints are collected electronically, it speeds up processing of a second, third or fourth set of fingerprints that may be required. Additionally, if your prints have to be redone, it will not negate the entire card. Only the poor quality fingerprints must be taken again. Your prints are printed on the standard FD-258 card with a FBI-certified printer and FBI-certified Live scan technology.

     

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